How Family Caregivers Can Manage Stress
If you are a family member caring for an older adult, you probably have many other tasks to juggle, such as work, childcare, errands, housework, and more. Keeping other aspects of your life running smoothly and efficiently while meeting a senior loved one’s needs can be overwhelming and stressful. You may also struggle to find time for yourself to relax.
However, finding time to rest and recharge is essential to reduce the risk of caregiver burnout.
Tips to Manage Caregiver Stress
Caring for an elderly loved one can be rewarding but also draining—physically and mentally. Sometimes, you need to self-reflect and focus on your own well-being. Fortunately, there are opportunities and resources to help you alleviate caregiver stress and enhance the quality of life for your senior loved one and you.
Here are a few tips that can help you manage caregiver stress and maintain a healthy balance in your life:
- Delegate senior care tasks
Assigning specific senior care tasks to others can remove items from your “to-do” list and reduce stress, too. If you are busy with senior care responsibilities, don’t hesitate to ask family, friends, neighbors, or others to assist you with items such as picking up prescriptions, preparing meals, or providing companionship for your loved one. Skilled home care services from a reputable agency like Visiting Angels can provide professional assistance.
- Hire assistance with personal errands and chores
Consider time-saving resources such as grocery delivery, online shopping, or house-cleaning services when things get hectic. If your budget permits, hiring someone to mow your lawn, repair items around the house, or tackle other long-overdue projects can free up time so you can focus on your well-being.
- Reduce other stressors, if possible
Manage the aspects of your life that cause unnecessary stress. Although it is impossible to eliminate stress 100 percent, you can take simple steps to streamline your life — such as meditating, going outside more, reducing your time on social media and news, and avoiding activities that cause anxiety.
- Prioritize what is most important in your life
Figure out what is essential in your life and devote your energy to those pursuits — making sure that self-care ranks high on the list. Focusing on what matters most will allow you to establish priorities and place the less-important commitments lower on the list.
- Let go of guilt
When you care for an older loved one, you might feel awkward about focusing on yourself or asking for help. Let go of the guilt. Taking time for yourself will promote overall well-being and help you feel reenergized to provide your senior with better, more compassionate care.
- Consider respite care
Respite care is short-term or temporary care that provides a break from your caregiver duties — so you can go on vacation, tend to work or family responsibilities, or take a breather. A Visiting Angels caregiver can deliver professional, compassionate in-home care when you can’t be there for your senior. And best of all, respite care is fully customizable to needs, schedules, and budgets.
Caring for an older adult is a big job that requires you to be at your best. Pay attention to your stress level and take steps to reduce it. This will help you provide the best possible care for your senior, so you can enjoy your time together. And always remember, Visiting Angels' compassionate caregivers are available to assist you.